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Matthew Ramey, 14, of Hartselle plans to continue honing his diving skills. He hopes his hard work will allow him the opportunity to dive for The University of Alabama or even the U.S. Olympic team.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Matthew Ramey, 14, of Hartselle plans to continue honing his diving skills. He hopes his hard work will allow him the opportunity to dive for The University of Alabama or even the U.S. Olympic team.

Diving for pleasure
Hartselle teen desires to make a splash in sport

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

When 14-year-old M with friends, with the usual swimming, goofing off and socializing.

That was until one of the lifeguards approached him and asked if he had ever thought about taking up the sport of diving.

"At first I thought he was just joking," Ramey said. "Then he videotaped me and my friend and printed off some things about diving for us. I became interested and went home and started looking up stuff on the Internet about it.

"My dad started helping me with some of the techniques that we saw from YouTube videos, and I've been doing it ever since."

Ramey began diving competitively a little less than a year ago and already has brought home 17 medals in the six competitions he's participated in. Eight of those medals are gold.

He said he was a bit surprised when he won his first medal.

"I was flabbergasted," Ramey said. "I didn't think that I would do that well."

Since Hartselle doesn't have a diving team, Matthew and his mother Pam spend three nights a week traveling to Huntsville for practice, something Pam Ramey says can be tough at times.

"Huntsville is the closest place that has the facilities for diving," Pam Ramey said.

His mom added: Most of the time, we leave around 5 p.m. and dont get home until 9 p.m. Its hard for him to get his homework done, so most of the time he has to do it in the car.

Currently, Hartselle athletic director Bob Young is trying to try to get Matthew on a
team.

But Pam Ramey said with the lack of facilities in the area it makes it tough.

Bob has been wonderful, she said.

He is doing everything he can, but its hard when there is a lack of facilities.

Even though the Hartselle High freshman has a few years until graduation, hes already started thinking about a future in diving.

Well, Im hoping for a scholarship to Alabama, Matthew said.

Ive thought about the Olympics, too, and Ive really been pushing it. For now though, Im just going to work at getting better.

Pam Ramey said no matter what the outcome is, shes extremely proud of what her son has accomplished.

He pushes himself harder than we do, she said.

To know that he is doing something that he loves on his own is a reward in itself.

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